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Life of Pi - Independent Novel Study
Transcript of Life of Pi - Independent Novel Study
By Yann Martel
Presentation By Kiley
Piscine Molitor Patel
also known as, Pi
also know as Mamaji
Nikhil (Nick) Patel
The atheistic biology teacher at Petit Séminaire
Piscine Molitor Patel
Piscine Patel is the protagonist in the novel,
Life of Pi,
by Yann Martel. Originally he went by "Piscine", but after being mocked and called "Pissing" Patel, he changed his name to Pi.
Pi is an intelligent sixteen year old Indian boy who grew up in Pondicherry. He was raised surrounded by animals in the "Pondicherry Zoo", observing their behavior and growing an attachment to their presence.
Pi symbolizes human nature. His experience on the ocean, is directly related to an individual experiencing life. Pi presents the possibility of acceptance of multiple religions, and the balance between dependence and independence of the beliefs that you have.
Pi's name is also important to his character behavior. The mathematical term Pi is infinite, and that hints at the idea that Pi has the ability to see situations in virtually any way possible
Francis Adirbasamy and Santosh Patel were business partners and that's how Francis was introduced to Pi's Life
The Three Wise Men
In the novel, Ravi is the foil character that helps reveal more about Pi. The characteristics that Ravi possesses Pi does not.
We are first exposed to Ravi as a "merciless teaser." He tells stories, that Pi naively believes.
Not only does Ravi mock Pi for swimming, but for his religious practices as well. Ravi is very athletic and has a passion for sports that Pi does not have. Pi says "I would suffer from follwoing in the footsteps of a popular older sibling," and then continues with "I was a swimmer (that) made no waves." The comparison is that Ravi affects people, where as Pi does not.
Despite the mocking, Ravi was Pi's "dazzling hero of his childhood." This demonstrates the bond between Ravi and Pi was stronger than portrayed in the initial stages of the novel.
Mamaji is referred to as Pi's "aquatic guru". As well as "respected uncle"
In the initial Author's note it is mentioned that the elderly man who shares Pi's story is Francis Adirubasamy
Richard Parker is the antagonist in the novel
"Life of Pi"
. By definition an antagonist a character in a story or poem who deceives, frustrates, or works again the main character. This character pushes and influences the development of Pi, who's decisions are based around the presence of Richard Parker as well as their survival.
Richard Parker was originally named "thirsty" before the clerical error where he gained the name of the hunter. This name creates irony because both Pi and Richard Parker are in danger from dying from dehydration.
Richard Parker is also the animal persona, or spirit animal for Pi. The primary meaning of the tiger spirit animal is willpower, personal strength and courage. Pi had many situations where he was on the verge of giving up, but Richard Parker had given him the strength to push through, and continue desiring to live. This is evident in the quote, "It was Richard Parker who calmed me down... the very same who brought me peace, purpose, I dare say even wholeness." The strength that Richard Parker "gave" to him, is symbolism of the strength he found in himself in his testing situation.
The author is the character
that tells Pi's story.
Pi refers to Santosh Patel as "Father", therefore describing the relationship between the two. He also states the "Father
a worrier" showing the influence of Santosh's character on Pi.
The first significant quality of Santosh is that he owns the Pondicherry zoo, which became a place of reflection for Pi. The characteristics portrayed by the animals Pi uses as guidance in his life.
Santosh brings both Pi and Ravi to see the tigers in their cages. This encounter with the animal is where Pi watched the goat get eaten by the Tiger. Pi says "I don't know where Father got the idea that his youngest son was itching to step into a cage with a ferocious carnivore." Through this Pi learns about the danger of being around the tiger, creating tension and fear when the two share such close proximities.
Richard Parker eats the Hyena
Francis is the inspiration for Pi's name. His multiple stories of his swimming adventures in Paris intrigued Pi's parents, causing them to dream. He describes the "Piscine Molitor" as the "crowing aquatic glory". The glory from this pool directly reflects on the character portrayed by Pi. This is where Pi get's his name from.
Francis is also referred to as Mamaji. "Mama" meaning uncle, and "ji" meaning respected.
Pi sees Mamaji as his water guru. As the ocean symbolizes one's life, "the road of life", Mamaji led Pi to exposure.
Father of Pi
Mother of Pi
Pi's older brother
Gita's animal persona
On the boat with Pi
On the boat with Pi
The name "Gita" is an Indian word meaning "Holy Book". There are multiple ways to perceive this. When Pi was beginning his religious exploration, his mother was more supportive than the other members in his family.
When Pi initially approached his Mother, her response was, "I have a book here that you'll like." Pi describes this as her usual tactic. She explains to Pi that her and Santosh find his "religious zeal" a mystery. However she does get Pi the prayer rug and allowed him to be baptized.
In the second story, Pi speaks of his mother in a different way. He describes her as heroic. She acted in ways Pi had never seen her before acting from "outrage and pity and grief and bravery."
The influence his father had on Pi was that he altered Pi's perception of animal and human nature. In life, the survival instincts are natural and "savage" described by Pi. However when placed in a situation in which they will be , he demonstrates that individual's will adapt, and compromise their morals in order to survive. This is present in both of Pi's stories. He is a strict vegetarian, however he compromises his morals in order to survive.
Pi's future wife
Represented the Islamic Religion
Pi's companion on the boat, as well as his animal persona
The Muslim mystic that introduced/welcomed Pi to the Islamic Religion
Eaten by Richard Parker
Pi's future daughter
Pi's future son
Interviews Pi about the sinking of the ship. From the Maritime Department in the Japanese Ministry of Transport
Mr. Okamoto's assistant
Hyena eats the Zebra
Hyena eats Orange Juice
Part 4, Section 1:
Richard Parker is the name of several people in fiction and in real life who have been involved in shipwrecks. Some of these people have been involved with cannibalism
The first incident involving a Richard Parker was in Edgar Allen Poe's novel "
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
In 1846, eight years after Poe published his novel, a real-life Richard Parker died in a shipwreck. He and 20 others were on board the doomed
, which sank, killing all on board.
Richard Parker is a mutinous sailor on the whaling ship Grampus. After the ship capsizes in a storm, he and three other survivors draw lots upon Parker's suggestion to kill one of them to sustain the others. Parker then gets cannibalized.
The last incident in 1884, the yacht Mignonette sank. Four people survived and drifted in a life boat before one of them, the cabin boy Richard Parker, was killed by the others for food.
Richard Parker, in the adventure fiction novel, "Life of Pi", is the 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger that Pi is stranded on the tarpaulin with.
Yann Martel beautifully continues the trend of the name "Richard Parker" in his novel which includes cannibalism, shipwrecks and survival.
Pi Patel grows up learning to swim, and exploring various religions in an attempt to find God. After growing up at the Pondicherry Zoo, the Patel family makes the decision to leave to Canada. They board the
and four days out of Madras the boat sinks.
During the sinking of the cargo ship Pi is placed in close proximity of a hyena, orangutan, a zebra, and Richard Parker. And as days passed, the animals are "knocked off" one by one until all that is left is Pi and Richard Parker.
"Life of Pi" Passage - pg 109
I threw the lifebuoy mightily. It fell in the water right in front of him. With his last
energies he stretched forward and too hold of it.
"Hold on tight, I'll pull you in. Don't let go. Pull with your eyes while I pull with my
hands. In a few seconds you'll be aboard and we'll be together. Wait a second. Together? We'll be
? Have I gone mad?"
I woke up to what I was doing. I yanked on the rope.
"Let go of that lifebuoy, Richard Parker! Let go, I said. I don't want you here, do
you understand? Go somewhere else. Leave me alone. Get lost. Drown! Drown!"
He was kicking vigorously with his legs. I grabbed an oar. I thrust it at him,
meaning to push him away. I missed and lost hold of the oar.
I grabbed another oar. I dropped it in an oarlock and pulled as hard as I could,
meaning to move the lifeboat away. All I accomplished was to turn the lifeboat a little, bringing one end closer to Richard Parker.
I would hit him on the head! I lifted the oar in the air.
He was too fast. He reached up and pulled himself aboard.
"Oh my God!"
Ravi was right. Truly I was to be the next goat. I had a wet, trembling, half-drowned, heaving, and
coughing three-year-old adult Bengal tiger in my lifeboat.
On his journey, Pi encounters a "floating seaweed island". During his stay, he finds the presence of meerkats and fresh water ponds that caught fish for the meerkats to eat. Pi also discovers that the island is carnivorous, and at that discovery, he decides to leave and continue drifting with the hope to find human civilization.
Finally Pi reaches Mexico and lives to retell his story to members of the "Maritime Department in the Japanese Ministry of Transport." They question his story provoking Pi to tell the second version with humans from the cargo ship.
The time and the place alternate between the past and the present. The beginning of the novel is when Pi is reflecting on his time at the University of Toronto. This is evident in the quote, “… I attended the University of Toronto and took a double-major Bachelor’s degree.” (3. Martel). Pi moves to Toronto after finishing his journey, which is established in the end of the novel. As well as through the Authors narrating.
Throughout the beginning of the novel, the struggles occurring in India are mentioned with statements similar to, “Father and Mother complained regularly about Mrs. Gandi, but it meant little to me.” (29.) Mrs. Gandhi (Indira Gandi) was the third prime minister of India, and she served from 1966 until 1984. That gives an approximate time period that the novel takes place in. Finally it is stated “We left Madras on June 21st, 1977…” (100. Martel), that gives us the exact time period we are in. Pi is sixteen years old in the quote, so from there it is easily established the exact years.
Pi also talks about his nation, Pondicherry, joining the union of India and discusses the Pondicherry zoo. Then further on he mentions how his biology teacher at Petit Seminaire was “always hoping Tamil Nadu would stop electing movie stars,” establishing that the state they are in is Tamil Nadu. However, where Pi does a lot of his religious exploration is in Munnar. This is evident in the quote, “we went to Munnar, just over in Kerala.” And then again in, “ There are three hills within Munnar … on each stood a Godhouse.”
The main characters in the novel are Pisicine (Pi) Patel, and Richard Parker. Pi is a sixteen year old boy, in search of enlightenment, who chooses to engage in exploring religions rather than the "typical teenage activities" that his older brother participates in. Richard Parker is a three year, 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger who after hiding passively for a few days, kills the hyena.
Pi takes the role of the protagonist and Richard Parker takes the role of the antagonist. Richard Parker represents the internal aggressive side of Pi.
Connections to the Novel
I’m using a text-to-text connection between “Life of Pi” and “Lord of the Flies”.
Both of these texts portray a similar idea of the conflict between brain and brawn, and the means for survival. Pi is similar to Ralph/Piggy, and Richard Parker is similar to Jack. In both novels males of a young age are isolated from society and placed in a situation where they have to survive.
Theme of the Novel
In a harsh world full of struggles, individuals often turn to their beliefs to find an internal sense of safety and security. The extent one allows their beliefs to impact them effects their ability to accept others. It is hindering to an individual to be either overly dependent or independent from their beliefs. This is because it can either serve as a barrier to acceptance, or you lose your morals and guidelines.